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NFC: 49ers to start former UM QB

wire services
Published September 14, 2004

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Quarterback Ken Dorsey is expected to make his first start for San Francisco after Tim Rattay was diagnosed with a separated right shoulder Monday.

Coach Dennis Erickson said Dorsey, the former Miami star and a seventh-round draft pick in 2003, will start in New Orleans on Sunday unless Rattay's injury heals much more quickly than expected.

"He's ready for it," Erickson said. "We have a lot of confidence in him, or else we wouldn't do it. It doesn't have to do with anything other than Tim's health."

Rattay was injured when sacked by Atlanta's Rod Coleman in the second quarter of the 49ers' 21-19 loss Sunday.

Dorsey took over and led two scoring drives in his first NFL action. But after Dorsey got a stinger in his right shoulder late in the third quarter, Rattay returned and led three lengthy drives, throwing two touchdowns.

But an MRI exam revealed a serious shoulder separation for Rattay, who has struggled with injuries in his first year as the starter.

"I was just getting over the groin (injury), and I got the forearm," Rattay said. "And then I was getting over the forearm, and I get this."

EAGLES: Rookie guard Shawn Andrews will have surgery on the right leg he broke against the Giants and coach Andy Reid said the Eagles would probably look for another lineman, though they could use recently signed Steve Sciullo. ... Former Gators cornerback Lito Sheppard will wear a cast on his broken thumb, but will practice and play.

LIONS: Receiver Charles Rogers will miss the rest of the season after breaking his collarbone for the second straight season. The No. 2 pick in the 2003 draft was injured going for a pass in the first quarter. X-rays revealed a fracture near the one he got last year during a bye week practice. He will have surgery later this week or early next week. ... Cornerback Dre' Blywill miss the next two games after he sprained a ligament in his knee in the opening quarter.

REDSKINS: Former Bucs punter Tom Tupa topped the NFC rankings after a solid debut. He punted seven times for a 49.6-yard average.

VIKINGS: Michael Bennett's knee is feeling better after a workout, but coach Mike Tice probably will sit his starting running back again.

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